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Spider Management: Are you Safe this Winter?

Unless you live in Richmond VA, and you're a fan of the University of Richmond "Spiders," then you're probably not a big fan of the furry, eight-legged variety that invades crawl spaces, spins spider webs in your attic or around your light fixtures, and pack a dangerous bite. Below are lists of spiders to watch for this season and information about what to do to keep them away from your home in Rochester.

Dangerous Spiders in Rochester

There aren't many dangerous species of spiders in Rochester, but two varieties present sufficient danger to encourage awareness. Other species mentioned below are not common throughout the United States. However, they are mentionable due to their extremely poisonous nature. If bitten by a spider of any kind, seek emergency medical attention immediately and bring the spider for identification.

Yellow-sac Spiders | Cheiracanthium mildei | Cheiracanthium inclusum

Although this spider is poisonous, it is not considered deadly. The bite of these spiders creates an ulcer sore and may require weeks to heal. They make their way through vegetation near houses and stumble inside.

Identification:

  • Their coloration is yellow, true to their name
  • They produce silk but do not spin webs
  • Dark yellow fangs
  • Their spinnerets are visible
  • They use their silk to make nests and a sac for their eggs, hence the name

Wolf Spiders | Lycosidae

Wolf spider bites, although irritating, do not typically cause lasting damage, as the bite can grow irritated, red, and puffy but does not cause other lasting effects. However, as with any spider bite, the risk of extreme adverse effects is possible, if unlikely, so always retain the dead spider and present it to the emergency medical personnel for identification.

Identification:

  • True to their name, these spiders hunt in dense vegetation and rely on their eyesight and fast legs to ambush prey and do not spin webs, though the silk they produce is used for nests and egg sacs.
  • Often mistaken for tarantulas, these spiders are covered in brown hair on their abdomen and legs and often are marked with stripes, usually black or white, on the abdomen.
  • Females use their spinnerets to carry their egg sacks on their spinnerets.

Other Poisonous Spiders

None of these exotic spiders is likely found in a residential basement. However, the ease of travel between countries can make transplantation of some of the following species possible, though no recorded occurrence of this phenomenon has come about.

  • The Sydney Funnel-web Spider, or Atrax robustus, is considered the deadliest spider to humans, particularly the male poison. This spider is found in Australia and surrounding islands and is classified as an old-world spider, so it appears similar to a black, shiny tarantula.
  • The Black Widow Spider is the most poisonous spider in North America, reported having poison 15 times deadlier than rattlesnake poison delivered by a painful bite that attacks the nervous system, though very few victims experience lasting effects. The females are most easily identified by the red hourglass-shaped mark on its underside.
  • Brazilian wandering spiders are native only to regions of central and South America. This spider also packs a deadly poison strike, especially for children, but antivenin easily treats such bites.
  • The redback spider, or Australian Black Widow, is a cousin of the Black Widow. It is found in Australia and some of the surrounding islands, such as New Zealand.

Infestations: Spider Control

Prevention

Follow these tips to prevent spiders and other pests from gaining entry in your home

  • Sanitation Regime | Spiders will avoid places they cannot hide, and constant sanitation and cleaning will prevent them from finding harborages. Consider purchasing an automatic vacuum cleaner that can run at night when the majority of spider species are most active. When you find a spider, one good idea to get rid of it is to suck it up the vacuum but ensure to freeze the vacuum bag before disposal to destroy living spiders inside.
  • Block Entry Points | Use silicone caulking to seal cracks and crevices around doors and windows, gaps in home foundation or sill plates, and pipe entry points. Install door sweeps and weather stripping for additional protection, and ensure that garage and shed doors are in good repair.
  • Clean and Trim the Yard | Grass, bushes, and other greenery should be trimmed at least two feet from the house perimeter, and ornamental plants should be trimmed from the house siding at least one foot.
  • Shut off Lights | Exterior lights can attract flies and other food sources for spiders, so ensure to cover the windows after nightfall and extinguish outdoor lighting
  • Firewood and Compost Piles | Place firewood and compost piles on a platform at least 20 feet from the house and one foot off the ground. Never reach into a woodpile without gloves, and consider the installation of chicken wire or metal screening for additional protection against rodents as well.

Eradication

  • Boric Acid | This product is commonly used in household items and is extremely effective to eradicate most insects. Purchase this at a local department store and apply in areas where children and pets cannot access, including air vents or ducts where the acid could blow into the air.
  • Vinegar | Mix white vinegar and water in a half-and-half solution and apply to areas spiders might hide. Vinegar is not always effective to kill on contact.
  • Peppermint | Spiders are scientifically proven to detest the smell of peppermint. Consider purchasing an essential oil humidifier and place it in areas where spiders might hide, such as the basement or kitchen.
  • Over-the-counter Products | Numerous products exist to help control spiders, though these don't always work effectively. Some glue pads exist, which results in spiders trapped on sticky paper.

Kill Spiders with Professional Pest Control

The best solution for the long term is a spider management company like Fox Pest Control. Our products and Home Protection Plans are proven effective against spider infestations. Restore your peace of mind and call today because pests ... it's what we do.

Posted on December 16, 2019.

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